Mount Everest: Lars to Johnny, “I was THIS close to the summit”

Memorial weekend special: Everest meets New Jersey

It’s a Netflix original about an old school mobster from New Jersey, Johnny, living under witness protection in “Lilyhammer” (Lillehammer), Norway.

Setting up business in the neighborhood, Johnny teams up with local Everest hero motivator/entrepreneur, Lars. All goes well until Lars denies Johnny “a favor.”

Johnny tracks down Lars’ Everest Sherpa and confronts Lars during his practice in a climbing gym.

Season 3, episode 4, the mind is like a monkey:

Johnny (to Lars high up on climbing wall): Btw, Dawa Shirri says hello.

Lars: Dawa Shirri?

Johnny: Am I mispronouncing it? You know, your old friend, that guided you up Mount Everest?

Lars (rappels down): What about him?

Johnny (lowering voice): We’ve been emailing each other lately, and you know it’s funny.

Lars: Funny? What…? What’s funny?

Johnny: According to him… you never quite actually got to the top, Lars.

(Johnny brings out from his bag Lars’s best selling Everest book.)

Johnny: The old man gave a quite vivid description. Him carrying you down the mountain. You crying like a little girl.

Lars: Cry? You… This is fucking bullshit and you should know that!

Johnny: Next time you want to buy somebody off to keep’em quiet, I suggest you don’t use Tibetan wage rates. (Scrolls iPad to another summit pic). Nice photoshopping.

Lars: You…listen, Johnny. I was THIS close to the summit. I was… thirty meters below, I got altitude sickness and… the picture on the book shows the truth of… how it feels inside.

Johnny: I understand.

Johnny: My guy jumps on Tuesday.

Lars: Okay.

For Everest buffs: Don’t miss Lillehammer season 2, episode 4, The Black Toe.

Related anecdote: In 1999 Tom and I, and our small team of Sherpa scaled Everest in a non-commercial ascent by independent climbers. Our expedition led the rope fixing on Everest south side (but was never invited to the commercial Everest leaders’ meetings), and transmitted live updates from the mountain via a wifi network we built on the slopes to tell the story of Everest live, without media interpreters.

Our team was made honorary investigators of the State of New Jersey for boosting morale of local undercover officers with our Everest climb. It was the first time this honor was granted non-US citizens.

The climb gave rise to the Everest survival guide


Sold! Silver Bullet Goes to Hollywood

Silver Bullet’s New Home Found?

Explorers vs Payloads: The Difference and Why it Matters